Almost immediately after it’s release in 1991, Rough Trade collapsed (until the labels resurrection in the late 90s). The Boo Radleys were snapped up by Creation Records. Rough Trade were in difficultly beforehand, and their demise is nothing to do with The Boo Radleys. Rough Trade had told them that they did not have enough money to fund an album from The Boo Radleys.
Every Heaven is, not unlike the other early EPs, but produced by Alan Moulder. Its shows that they were not just another shoegaze band, as they started to show their influences. It is a massive leap in terms of quality from the Ichabod and I. The beginning of The Finest Kiss has a New Order bass opening. Which carries on throughout the song but is lost at times with the crashing roaring guitars. Tortoiseshell is a big track with grandeur the guitars alternating with the vocals. Bluebird is an upbeat tune, and lastly, Naomi is a slice of early 90s psychedelic indie. The guitars grind and swirl at the same time.
The Boo Radleys – Every Heaven
The Finest Kiss
The second release after the legendary Ichabod and I, just a three months after the original release and featured a cleaned up version of Kaleidoscope as the lead track. Eventhough this was head and shoulders above Ichabod in terms of production, it is still amateur compared to their Creation Record releases. At the time they were signed to Rough Trade Records, after the initial Ichabod release on the indier than thou Action label.
Sice’s voice is weak and wishy washy in this release, and I believe this happened because of the mix of the songs but he finds his voice for the classic Everything is Alright Forever album.
The Boo Radleys : Kaleidoscope
How I Feel
The Boo Radley’s debut album, not revered by many. Weighing in at just under 30 minutes long, only 500 were released in 1990 on Action Label. Sounding very grungey and no suggestion of any influence from the 60s or Love, Forever Changes; which was a major part of the follow up Everything’s Alright Forever.
Kaleidoscope is probably the best track on here with shoegaze leanings. Sice’s vocals are at the forefront, which is very rare on this album. Walking 5th Carnival shows promise, but there is a really heavy guitar chorus that sounds quite sloppy. It is not as good as their later work, but well worth a listen.
Boo Radleys : Ichabod and I
Sweet Salad Birth
Hip Clown Rag
Walking 5th Carnival
Happens To Us All
Giant Steps their third release was by comparison with Everything’s Alright Forever under produced. Despite being named after a John Coltane masterpiece, it has a simple sixties pop record sound surrounded with walls of sound. Within these walls of sound are many other instruments that crop up in this album; cello, trumpet, clarinet and flugelhorn. Once again Love’s Forever Changes has clearly influenced this album, but they nod to Sgt Pepper in songs like Thinking of Ways.
There are many styles embraced in this album. Yet each style is given the Boo Radley treatment. The pop moments are, I Hang Suspended and Wish I was Skinny.
It has their greatest single included Lazarus, a shortened version unfortunately. This is a BIG song, the guitars, the brass and the wall of sound. This has the most obvious dub line in the album, but if you listen carefully the dub beat crops up throughout the album, notably in Upon 9th and Fairchild.
Leaves and Sand sees The Boo Radleys step into washes of noisy distorted guitars. The same can be said of Run My Way Runaway, which I believe to be heavily influenced by Miles Davis. The way it is arranged it has free jazz elements mixed with psychedelia .
For many this is the pinnacle of The Boo Radleys work. It would of been my favourite, had it come out in 1992. I prefer Everything’s Alright Forever because it was my introduction to The Boo Radleys and it came out in the best year for music.
The Boo Radleys : Giant Steps
I Hang Suspended
Upon 9th & Fairchild
Wish I Was Skinny
Leaves And Sand
Rodney King (Song For Lenny Bruce)
Thinking Of Ways
Barney (…And Me)
If You Want It, Take It
Best Lose The Fear
Take The Time Around
One Is For
Run My Way Runway
I’ve Lost The Reason
The White Noise Revisited
They sat at the fringes of indiedom for years, only known to a few listeners of the John Peel show. There first album was the very low key Ichabod and I, released on the obscure ‘Action’ label. After settling at Creation Records who nick named them as the Do Badleys, they released what I believe was their best album, Everything’s Alright Forever
It is a psychedelic blissed-out shoegazer classic, we fondly called it ‘Everything’s Alright when you had a shed load’. Saturated in fuzzy guitars a work of genius. It is the sort of record that you can have very long discussions about, such is the depth of the songs.
It draws up many influences and adds their own experimentation. Does This Hurt? combines manic drumming, feedback and choirboy vocals. Lazy Days has rapid acoustic strumming, but as with most of the songs on the album, it changes speed at least three times.
The Boo Radleys : Everything’s Alright Forever
Towards The Light
Losing It (Song for Abigail)
I Feel Nothing
Room At The Top
Does This Hurt?
Smile Fades Fast
Song For The Morning To Sing
Another fine early EP by the Boo Radleys. From the halcyon era of all things shoegazing, which is around September 1991. There is an acoustic opener Everybird, which is similar to Spaniard but then has a heavily distorted guitar roar in parts that is more Towards the Light. Sometime Soon She Said is more guitar shredding action. My favourite on the EP is the third song, Fosters Van there is a bit of My Bloody Valentineseque reverse reverb on this. It does sound like My Bloody Valentine with audible lyrics. The EP finishes with Song for Up which is an upbeat tune, that stretches into a longer instrumental
The Boo Radleys : Boo Up! EP
Sometime Soon She Said
Song For Up!